I was taken by surprise on June 19 when a delegation of chiefs, negotiators, and members from the Denesuline First Nations of Sayisi Dene, Black Lake, Northlands Denesuline, Fond du Lac, and Hatchet Lake held a press conference and public demonstration in Ottawa to bring attention to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett’s recent decision to refuse to initial their land claims agreements and to suspend further negotiations. I am familiar with the history of these negotiations and have met several times with their negotiating teams, including the community negotiators. These Denesuline people have been negotiating in good faith with the Government of Canada for more than 19 years to achieve constitutional recognition of harvesting and land rights in their traditional territories North of the 60th parallel.
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